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Cap. XXV

[Ms P, fol. 91vPaulus Diaconus
Ps.-Basil: Ms K1, fol. 54v; Ms E1, fol. 108r; Ms E2, fol. 172r?]

Ch. 25

Translated by: Abigail Firey

1Is autem frater, qui gravioris culpae noxa tenetur, suspendatur simul a mensa et ab oratorio. 2Nullus ei fratrum in ullo jungatur consortio neque in colloquio; 3solus sit ad opus sibi injunctum, persistens in poenitentiae luctu.

1That brother, however, who is held [to have committed] the injury of a serious offense, should be suspended from both the [common] table and from the oratory. 2No-one may engage the brother in any social intercourse or in conversation; 3he should be alone in the work enjoined upon him, while he persists in penitential grief.

 Noxa i. e. mortali delicto et criminali peccato tenetur.

Injury, that is, he is convicted of a mortal crime and a criminal sin.

In hoc loco intuendum est, quia hoc capitulum generavit illa sententia Pauli apostoli, in qua dicit: Tradite hujusmodi hominem satanae in interitum carnis. [1 Cor 5:5] Inde etiam sacri canones, qui hominem ab ecclesia separant, tracti sunt.

In this place it is to be understood that this opinion of the Apostle Paul gave rise to this chapter, in which he says, Hand over a man of this sort to Satan for the destruction of his flesh.[1 Cor. 5:5] Whence indeed are drawn the sacred canons which separate a man from the Church.

In hoc loco intuendum est, quia, sicut sapientes intelligunt, perceptio cibi vel potus ante horam criminale peccatum est.

In this place it is to be understood that as wise men know, the reception of food or drink before the canonical hour is a criminal sin.

Sed in isto loco discretio debet esse; v. gr. si quia frater unam phialam vini aut aliquid panis alicui dederit sine licentia, in levioribus culpis teneri debet, si autem ipsam phialam vini vel aliquid panis biberit vel manducaverit sine licentia, in graviori culpa teneri debet, quia Adam de uno pomo manducando, i. e. non meliori cibo edens, eo quod contra praeceptum Domini fecit, meruit expulsionem Paradisi - ita tamen, si illam phialam vel cibum absconse, i. e. furtim biberit vel manducaverit. Si autem aut cellerarius aut aliquis illi dederit, non est in noxa tenendus sed in levioribus culpis.

But in this matter there should be discretion; for example, if because a brother gave a flask of wine or a piece of bread to someone without permission, he ought to be convicted of a lesser offense; if, however, he drank that flask of wine or ate the piece of bread without permission, he ought to be convicted of a more serious offense, because Adam, on account of eating one apple (that is, not eating better food), because he acted against the instruction of the Lord, merited expulsion from Paradise – and so it is thus, however, if he [the brother] will have drunk that flask or eaten the food secretly, that is, furtively. If, however, either the cellarer or someone else gave [it] to him, he is not to be convicted of an injury, but [rather] of lesser offenses.

Graviori culpa teneri debet, qui quocunque modo fornicationem fecerit, excepto solummodo in somnis.

He who committed any type of fornication ought to be convicted of a more serious offense, excepting only those [committed] when asleep.

Si frater a quinto decimo anno adprehendit parvulum et facit cum illo infantulo fornicationem, ille infantulus virgis flagelletur et castigetur pro hoc. Deinde si talis ejus fuerit vita bona et amplius ipse in hoc peccatum non inciderit, potest venire ad presbyteratus honorem.

If a brother, from his fifteenth year onward, should seize a small boy and commit fornication with that child, the child should be beaten with rods and chastised for this. Then, if the life of such a one is good and he himself is esteemed and never again lapses into this sin, he may advance to the office of priest.

Ipse autem, qui jam grandis est, si semel hoc pro ebrietate fecit, in leviori culpa excommunicetur; si autem bis vel ter in hoc peccatum inciderit, nunquam ad presbyteratus accedat honorem et mittatur in graviori culpa.

He, however, who now is an adult, if ever he does this thing once because of drunkenness, should be excommunicated for a minor offense; if, however, he falls into this sin two or three times, he should never attain the office of the priesthood and should be repudiated1 for a serious offense.

Si autem jam presbyter est et si inciderit in hoc peccatum semel et fortuito et pro ebrietate, non in gravi culpa excommunicetur, sed [page 351] solummodo diu agat poenitentiam usque ad annos duos et deinde cantet missam.

If, moreover, he is already a priest and if he falls once into this sin and [it was] by chance and on account of drunkenness, he should not be excommunicated for a serious offense, but [page 351] let him do penance only for the duration of two years and then he may sing the Mass.

Sequitur: 3sciens illam terribilem apostoli sententiam dicentis: 4Tradite hujusmodi hominem in interitum carnis, ut spiritus salvus sit in die Domini. [1 Cor 5:5]

He continues, 3Knowing that terrible verdict of the apostle: 4Hand over a man of this sort for destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of the Lord [1 Cor. 5:5].

Iste enim locus varius a variis doctoribus intelligitur. Sunt enim, qui intelligunt, quia Paulus illum hominem in carcerem includi jussit, eo quod satana contrarius sive adversarius interpretatur. Et bene per satana carcer intelligitur, eo quod carcer sive custodia contraria carni esse cognoscitur.

Indeed, this section is understood variously by various teachers. There are indeed those who understand [it to say] that Paul commanded that this man be confined to prison, because Satan is interpreted as hurtful and inimical. And well might 'a prison' be understood for Satan, because a prison or custody is known to be harmful to the flesh.

Et sunt qui intelligunt, quia illum Paulus in potestatem diaboli tradidit, ut diabolus haberet potestatem illum vexandi.

And there are those who understand [the passage to mean] that Paul handed him over to the power of the devil, so that the devil might have the power of tormenting him.

Et reddit causam, quare tradidit in potestatem satanae, h. e. diaboli, cum subdit: ut spiritus salvus sit in die Domini nostri Jesu Christi. Et in hoc loco datur intelligi, quia multi ideo in potestatem diaboli traduntur, ut purgationem delictorum suorum mereantur accipere.

And he gives the reason why he handed [him] over to the power of Satan, that is, the devil, when he adds so that his spirit may be saved on the Day of our Lord Jesus Christ. For in this passage it is given to be understood that many, therefore, are handed over to the power of the devil, so that they may merit receiving purgation of their crimes.

Et sunt alii, qui intelligunt, illum hominem jussisse Paulum apostolum occidi.

And there are others who understand [the meaning of this passage to be] that the Apostle Paul ordered that man to be killed.

Sed iste sensus convincitur propter illud, quod in secunda epistola ad Corinthios dicit: [Si] cui autem aliquid donastis, et ego. Nam et ego, quod donavi, [2 Cor 2:10]1 propter vos in persona Christi, ut non circumveniamur a satana; nec enim versutias ejus ignoramus - ac si diceret aliis verbis: 'Cui vos indulsistis, et ego indulsi, nam et ego, si alicui parsi, propter vos peperci. Voluissem ego non parcere, sed quia vos indulsistis, non potui aliter facere, nisi parcerem propter vos.'

But this sense of the passage is refuted because of what he says in the second letter to the Corinthians: [If] ‘to whom ye forgive anything, I also [forgive]. For what I also have forgiven [2 Cor. 2:10] on your account in the person of Christ, so that we are not surrounded by Satan; and indeed we should not be unaware of his cunning – as if he says in other words: 'To whom you have been indulgent, I also have been indulgent, for I also spared, on your account, anyone spared. I might have wished not to spare, but because you were indulgent, I was not able to do otherwise, except to spare on your account.'

Et reddit causam, quare propter illos se indulsisse dicit, cum subdit ne circumveniamur a satana: ne nos diabolus pro occasione zeli Dei discordantes esse faciat.

And this gives the reason why he says that he is indulgent toward them, when he adds that we should not be surrounded by Satan: lest the devil cause us to be in disagreement concerning an occasion of zeal for God.

Et iterum latius exponit dicens, quare indulserit, cum dicit: nec enim versutias ejus ignoramus - ac si diceret aliis verbis: 'Non nos latet ejus cogitatio.' Illius enim cogitatio est, ut homines discordantes sint.

And again he explains more broadly, saying why he would be indulgent, when he says that indeed we are not unaware of his cunning, as if he says in other words: 'His plan is not hidden from us.' For indeed it is his [the devil’s] plan that humans be at odds.

In hoc loco datur intelligi, ut, si ille abbas alicui indulserit, debeant etiam illi spiritales fratres parcere; et cui illi fratres spiritales indulserint, [page 352] debet etiam abbas parcere, ne ob hoc quasi causa zeli Dei discordia generetur inter illos. Nam melius est fallere in misericordiam faciendo, quam in severitatem tenendo.

In this passage it is given to be understood, that, if the abbot should be indulgent toward anyone, then his spiritual brothers ought to spare him; and him toward whom those spiritual brothers show indulgence, [page 352] the abbot ought also to spare, lest on account of this, a cause as it were for zeal for God, discord be generated among them. For it is better to err in doing mercy, than in adhering to severity.

Sequitur: 5Cibi autem refectionem solus percipiat mensura vel hora, qua praeviderit abbas ei competere.

He continues: 5Moreover, let him take the refreshment of food alone, in the measure and at the hour which the abbot anticipates is suitable for him.

Competere, i. e. convenire vel expedire.

 Suitable, that is, 'appropriate' or 'useful'.

In hoc loco intuendum est, cum dicit mensuram vel horam. Debet discretionem habere abbas temporis et qualitatis personae: tempus debet cognoscere, utrum sit calor vel frigus, quia haec utraque tempora non aequaliter conveniunt jejunio. Debet etiam cognoscere qualitatem illius fratris, quem excommunicavit, utrum sit debilis an fortis, au alicujus infirmitatis vel fortitudinis.

In this passage, what is to be understood when he says measure or hour? The abbot should have discretion regarding the condition and nature of the person: he ought to know the season, whether it be hot or cold, because these two times are not equally suitable to fasting. He ought also to know the nature of this brother he has excommunicated, whether he be weak or strong, or have some sort of infirmity or vigour.

Nam intuendum est, quia, si multum quis jejunaverit, a calore hepatis contrahitur stomachus, post vero cum vult recipere cibum, ipse cibus ei nocebit.

For it is to be understood that if someone fasts a great deal, the stomach is contracted from the heat of the liver; but afterward, when he wishes to take food, that very food will be harmful to him.

In quo loco datur intelligi, ut debeat etiam cognoscere medicinam; si enim non cognoscit per se, debet interrogare, qualiter? Cum fratrem castigat jejuniis, ut moderate castiget.

In this passage it is given to be understood that he [the abbot] really should be familiar with medicine; even if he does not personally know, he should ask, 'How?' when he punishes a brother with fasts, so that he punish moderately.

Sequitur: 6nec a quoquam benedicatur transeunte, nec cibus, qui ei datur.

He continues: 6and he should not be blessed by anyone passing by, nor should the food which is given to him [be blessed].

Isti tali fratri nullus debet loqui, nec etiam ille, qui cibum ei tribuit. Verum in nostro monasterio cellerarius tribuit illi cibum; nam non quisquam debet loqui.

No one should speak to the brother of this sort [an excommunicate], not even he who brings food to him. But in our monastery, the cellarer brings food to him, for nobody should speak.

Et hoc notandum est, quia ille, qui a graviori culpa teneri dignus est, non debet ante corrigi publice, sed mox ut inventus fuerit in graviori culpa, excommunicandus est.

And here it is to be noted that he who has deserved to be convicted for a more serious offense ought not be corrected publicly beforehand, but [rather] he is to be excommunicated as soon as he is discovered in the more serious offense.

Sed sciendum est, quia istud capitulum de canonica auctoritate tractum est. Nam in veteri testamento ita praecipitur, ut si leprosus fuerit, maneat extra castra; si autem non fuerit, maneat in castris. [cf. Lv 13-14]

But it is to be recognised, that this chapter is drawn from canonical authority. For in the Old Testament it is taught thus, that if someone be leprous, that person should remain outside the camps; if, however, the person be not leprous, he or she may remain within the camps. [cf. Lv. 13-14]

Illa lepra significat illa peccata, pro quibus extra ecclesiam fit. Illa autem peccata, pro quibus Dominus sacrificium jussit offerri, significant illa peccata, pro quibus non judicantur extra ecclesiam fieri.

That leprosy signifies those sins for which one is caused to be outside the Church. Those sins, however, for which the Lord commanded a sacrifice to be offered signify those sins for which they are not judged to be cast outside the Church.

Similiter et pollutio majorum peccatorum tenet figuram, sicut lepra; castra2 autem intelligitur ecclesia.

Similarly also pollution possesses the symbolic meaning [figura] of great sins, just as leprosy does; the camps, moreover, are understood as the Church.

Et hoc notandum est: si quis in tali culpa inventus fuerit, [page 353] unde ad sacrum ordinem accedere non sit dignus, non debet in minori culpa teneri, sed in graviori.

And this is to be noted: if someone is discovered in a sin of this sort, [page 353] whence he be unworthy to advance to a sacred order, he ought not be convicted of a minor offense, but of a serious one.

Hoc tamen animadvertendum est, quia si frater rem monasterii violaverit vel ab alio fratre furatus fuerit, in graviori culpa teneri debet; si autem superfluum habuerit, i. e. si ea quae debet reddere, [et] apud se detinuerit, minori culpa teneri debet.

Moreover, this is to be observed: that if a brother violates the property of the monastery or steals from another brother, he should be convicted of a more serious offense; if, however, he has something in excess, that is, if [he has] those things which he ought to abandon [and] has kept them for himself, he ought to be convicted as for a lesser offense.

Sed sciendum est: [ut] si quis frater forte commiserit tale peccatum, quod videtur criminale et tamen non prohibet hominem, ad presbyteratus honorem accedere, si talis est persona, quae potest ad honorem presbyteratus pervenire, non debet in graviori, sed in minori culpa excommunicari, quia si in majori culpa excommunicatus fuerit, si presbyter est, non debet missam cantare, si autem non est presbyter, nec debet esse; et ideo debet illum, sicut dixi, in minori culpa teneri3 propter illud, quod scriptum est: Secundum uniuscujusque qualitatem una praebeatur in omnibus secundum merita disciplina. [cf. Regula Benedicti, c. 2.22/32]

But this is to be known: that if perhaps some brother commits such a sin which seems criminal yet does not prohibit a man from advancing to the honour of priesthood, if he be such a person who is able to advance to the honour of priesthood, he should not be excommunicated for a more serious offense, but for a minor offense, because were he excommunicated for a major offense, if he is a priest, he ought not sing the Mass; if, however, he is not a priest, he ought not be; and therefore, just as he [Benedict] said, he ought to convict him of a minor offense on account of this, which is written: A single discipline should be assigned to all according to their merits [Regula Benedicti, c. 2.32].

Et hoc notandum est, quia gravis culpa habet unum gradum, i. e. publicam excommunicationem. Sed videndum est, quamdiu tolerandus est ille talis frater in monasterio.

And this is to be noted, that a serious offense has a single degree [of response], that is, public excommunication. But it is to be considered, for how long such a brother is to be tolerated in the monastery.

De hac re debet ista esse discretio: si enim ille studiosus abbas et placens Deo fuerit, potest illum retinere usque ad sextam correptionem et excommunicationem juxta aestimationem sex graduum spiritalium culparum - ita tamen, si viderit ille abbas, ejus peccatum aliis non nocere, quia tamdiu tolerandus est pro gravi culpa in monasterio, quamdiu viderit ejus peccatum alios non corrumpere; nam si viderit ejus peccatum alios celerius corrumpere, celeriter projiciendus est.

There should be discretion in this matter: if, indeed, the abbot is careful and pleasing to God, he can keep him [the culpable brother] [in the monastery] until the sixth correction and excommunication, according to the assessment of the six degrees of spiritual offenses – it is the case, however, that if the abbot sees that his sin does not harm others, he [the culpable brother] is to be tolerated in the monastery for a serious offense as long as he [the abbot] sees that his sin does not corrupt others; for if he [the abbot] sees that his sin readily corrupts others, he should be cast out rapidly.

1. si quid donavi. II. Cor. 2, 10. (Mittermüller)
2. per castra. Cod. Divion. ex Marten. (Mittermüller)
3. tenere (?). (Mittermüller)

1. The Latin, “mittatur” (lit., “let him be sent”) is a vexing crux in the text. The better reading would seem to be something like “dimittatur”, with its range of meanings from “send a different way,” “dismiss”, “renounce”, “repudiate”. In similar instances in canon law, one would expect the clearer “deponitur”, signaling formal reduction in clerical grade or removal from clerical office, but both Benedict and Hildemar incline toward allowing multiple chances for rehabilitation before the ultimate penalty of excommunication. “Repudiated” seems to leave open--as ambiguously as does the Latin—whether the condemnation is expressed as a simple conviction, or a rejection of the culprit’s authority and future status, or whether the culprit is actually sent away and separated from the monastic community.

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